JUBA, March 22 (Xinhua) -- South Sudan has won five two gold and three bronze medals at the just concluded global Special Olympics Games in Abu Dhabi, which are the country's first ever medals at the global games, officials said on Friday.

Tong Chor Malek Deran, secretary general of the South Sudan National Olympic Committee (SSNOC), lauded the team that included two girls and one boy, saying, "when we played in Abu Dhabi we won five medals with three athletes."

South Sudan's athletes competed with 7,500 participants from 194 countries and regions.

"We are hoping that next year at the (2020) Olympic Games in Tokyo we are going to participate with a big number in various fields like basketball, volleyball and athletics and we may get more medals," Malek said in Juba.

South Sudan became the member of the global Special Olympics in August 2018.

The South Sudan National Olympic Committee was admitted by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at the 128th IOC Session in August 2015.

"We are telling people that there are so many people in South Sudan with the same (disabilities) situation and we need them to come out. Those with Down syndrome, epilepsy, mental retardation, we want them to come out and participate in Special Olympics," said Malek.

"We want to take people with interaction disability out of their families, they have to come as part of the community. They have to play, participate with the community," he said.

He also appealed to the leadership of the country to support SSNOC and the athletes who are preparing to participate in future Paralympics and Special Olympics games. Enditem

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